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Tyniec Abbey in Krakow

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Tyniec Abbey, the 19th-century illustration

Krakow's Ancient Benedictine Abbey of Tyniec

The spectacular Benedictine abbey in Tyniec upon the riverbank on the western outskirts of today’s Krakow, some twelve kilometers upstream from the Wawel Royal Castle, boasts glorious and dramatic history of nearly 1000 years rich in eventful episodes. 


Founded in 1044 by Duke Casimir I the Restorer, then Poland’s ruler, the Tyniec abbey used to command the approach to the country’s capital city through the Wisla (Vistula) river valley. The fortified monastery on a steep hill was a hard nut to crack for the enemy, so small wonder that it often suffered their revenge. Mongols burnt it down in the 12th century, Swedes in the 17th century, and Russians in the 18th century when the Tyniec Abbey was a crucial stronghold of the first Polish national uprising. 

Yet otherwise Benedictine monks have lived and worked here peacefully for nearly a millennium. In the Middle Ages the learned friars provided education to young royalty in addition to their other numerous labors. Little was left of the original 11th-century monastery as first it was replaced by Gothic structures and next by the 16th-century Renaissance buildings given a Baroque facelift in the 17th century. Also the abbey's present Baroque church dates from the 17th century.

In March 2017 the Tyniec Abbey has been officially named Poland's Monument of History.

The Tyniec Abbey of today 

The Tyniec Benedictines run a guest house with all the modern conveniences in one of the abbey's recently refurbished buildings. 

The church of the Tyniec abbey is a popular venue for classical music concerts, notably the summer series of the organ recitals. 

There is a cafe and shop that sells Benedictine food products such as honey, varied preserves, cheeses, and teas, also beer and wine.  

Krakow churches
Krakow numerous churches are architectural gems, art hoards, and spiritual hubs

Wawel Cathedral
Poland's impressive national shrine dates from the 14th century and shelters plenty of superb church art. The
Sigismund Chapel is a masterpiece of the Renaissance art and architecture. Giant Zygmunt bell of 1520 ranks with the world's largest. Most Polish kings are buried here together with the greatest national heroes.

Basilica of the Virgin Mary's
Immense Gothic church, the city of Krakow's principal temple since the 13th century, boasts the world's
greatest Gothic sculpture among its many excellent works of art. Huge stained-glass widows of the chancel date from the 14th century.

Skalka Sanctuary
Poland’s second holiest shrine at the site of St. Stanislav’s 1079 martyrdom. Splendid Baroque church and fine monastery modeled on a Renaissance castle.

Bielany Monastery
Magnificent 17th-century Baroque hermitage complex atop the Silver Mountain hovers over Krakow.

St. Norbert's Convent
Vast fortified complex on the Vistula river is home to Krakow’s once powerful Premonstratensian Sisters since the 12th c.

Sanctuary of Divine Mercy
Humble nun’s visions in the 1930s gave rise to a world-wide spiritual movement inside the Catholic Church, ever stronger nowadays, with the center in her Krakow convent.

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